Sports Betting Set to Launch This Week at Maryland CasinosMaryland
It looks like sports bettors in Maryland will finally get their wish when casinos in the Baltimore area launch in-person sports betting this Friday.
Live! Casino & Hotel Maryland and the Horseshoe Casino Baltimore plan to hold separate ceremonies to cut the ribbon on their sportsbooks this Friday. The only hurdle that remains is a final approval from the state that will come after they show controlled demonstrations of their sportsbooks.
It caps a years-long battle with state lawmakers, sportsbook operators and experts in problem gambling that will finally see legal sports betting come to the state. There were some compromises that needed to be struck, but they ultimately resulted in the casinos moving forward with their in-person sportsbooks.
A Cap on Bet Amounts
One of the final points of contention that needed to be worked at was a cap on how much a person could wager on sports betting in Maryland.
Some sportsbook operators such as FanDuel and DraftKings were arguing that no limits be placed on maximum betting limits. Experts with problem gambling were arguing for a maximum bet limit of $100,000.
The agreement that was struck will see a maximum allowable bet limit set at $5 million. It will apply to a single bet for any one event in sports.
Once that agreement was struck, it paved the way for casinos such as Horseshoe and Live! to open their in-person sportsbooks on Friday of this week.
Horseshoe has been desperately been pushing for legal sports betting, as the casino hasn’t realized revenues they were expecting since it opened in 2014. They are hoping that sports betting will invigorate the casino, especially as it’s located near the stadium where the Baltimore Ravens play their home games.
In Prince George’s County, the MGM National Harbor casino said it will launch in-person sports betting on Thursday of this week, assuming final sign-off from the state. Ocean Downs and Hollywood Casino Perryville plan to offer sports betting, too, but they don’t have a timetable as to when they will launch their sportsbooks.
Rocky Gap, the state’s final casino, decided that they won’t offer sports betting.
How We Got Here
Voters in Maryland first approved a ballot question that allowed the state to proceed with legal sports betting last year, in 2020. Once that happened, state lawmakers got to work crafting legislation that would set all the parameters for how the practice would be allowed to conduct business in the state.
The legislation allowed for in-person sportsbooks to be set up at casinos around the state, if they wanted to opt-in. Five of the six decided to do so.
In addition to those sites, in-person sportsbooks are allowed to operate in professional sports stadiums located in Baltimore, such as the Ravens of the NFL and the Baltimore Orioles of MLB, as well as at horse racing facilities.
Online sports betting is also allowed through apps.
Facilities who receive a license to offer sports gambling in Maryland will pay a tax of 15% on all proceeds they bring in for sports gambling. An analysis of the potential market in the state says that sports betting could result in $100 million in annual bets being placed.